AS wartime plots go, it stood as much chance of success as Captain Blackadder’s attempt to avoid battle by sticking two pencils up his nose, putting underpants on his head and claiming to be from the planet Wibble.
With no end to the Second World War in sight, British spies came up with a plan to lace Adolf Hitler’s food with female sex hormones to curb his aggressive impulses.
The Allied plot to turn Herr Hitler into Her Hitler was just one of a number of wacky ideas cooked up to break the stalemate, according to a new book.
Others included dropping glue on Nazi troops to stick them to the ground, and disguising bombs as tins of fruit being exported to Germany. The hare-brained schemes are revealed in Secret Weapons: Technology, science and the race to win World War II, by Professor Brian Ford.
He said: “Research had showed the importance of sex hormones - they were beginning to be used in sex therapy in London.
“The Allies hoped to smuggle oestrogen into Hitler’s food and change his sex so he would become more feminine and less aggressive.” Professor Ford, a fellow at Cardiff University and a pioneer of popular science, said the Government gave serious consideration to the plan, and that it was perfectly plausible. British spies were already in place and poised to carry out the plot.
“Hitler had testers who used to taste his meals so there was no mileage in putting poison in his food because they would immediately fall victim to it,” Professor Ford said. “Sex hormones were a different matter.
“They affected you only if you took them for months on end, so no one would have realised the hormones were in the food.”
The bizarre Allied plots to win the war have only now come to light after the publication of documents never previously seen because of their sensitive nature.
The British were not alone, however, in hatching far-fetched schemes.
The Nazis planned to poison sausages, chocolate and Nescafe if they lost the war, leaving them where they would be found by Allied troops.
Secret files published earlier this year revealed a network of Nazi saboteurs who were prepared to fight to create a Fourth Reich in the event that Hitler’s empire crumbled.
Four German agents arrested in northern France in March 1945 revealed the range of poisons developed by Nazi scientists.
They included cigarettes to be offered to Allies by spies. They would give the smoker a headache, and the spy would then offer an “aspirin” to his victim which was in fact poison which would kill within ten minutes.
In the BBC’s hit comedy series, Blackadder Goes Forth, Captain Edmund Blackadder, played by Rowan Atkinson, tries almost everything to avoid going over the top in the First World War.
In one famous scene he feigns insanity by donning underpants, sticking pencils up his nose and claiming to be from the planet Wibble.
Professor Ford’s book is to be published by Osprey on September 20. - Daily Mail